It isn’t often we head to Hackney for live shows, let alone to what appeared to be a nice quiet bar/restaurant in the centre of it. Little did we know Oslo (the venue not the city!) would very quickly turn into a hot, sweaty rock venue perfect for Danko Jones to headline!
Opening tonight’s show and for the full European tour was Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. Now, we’ve raided our brains for just how to describe them but all we came up with is good old fashioned rock’n’roll of the sort you can’t seem to get in this day and age. Performing tracks from both of their releases it’s an all killer no filler set which never slows down. Frontman Johnny Gorilla on the limited vocals he performs during the set seems strained at points, but we can gloss over that as it being rock’n’roll… The Hasting’s outfit instrumentally excel with their riffy guitars and hard-rocking drum lines driving the tracks giving the perfect soundtrack for headbanging to take place. But for us there was just something missing, now we’re not saying Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are not RIDICULOUSLY GOOD live but it could be due to the limited vocals used which stopped us falling in love with their set.
Having sat down to talk to Danko Jones earlier, we knew we were in for a live treat. Performing tracks from their very first album, right up until their most recent seventh album Fire Music the trio didn’t take long to get into their groove. What immediately became clear live is that DJ are a band which translate even better live compared to recorded with the guitars being sharper, the vocals being punchier and the tongue in cheek lyrics being that little bit spicier.
Jones flaunts exceptionally strong yet twangy vocals which were highlighted during track Code Of The Road, becoming some what a fan favourite we saw fist pumping galore with everybody getting into the rocking spirit. Giving fans a taste of the new album came with Do You Wanna Rock and Gonna Be A Fight Tonight, both flaunt infectiously anthemic choruses which in the tiny surroundings of Oslo excelled.
It can’t be overlooked how well this trio work, proving three is the magic number Jones and John Calabrese perfected guitars merged with Rich Knox’s intense drum line made for a hell of a good set. It was tongue in cheek with songs such as Legs – quite simply about absolutely loving every type of women’s legs and Cadillac – with lyric “I keep the backseat for loving” being sassy as heck making an appearance! The onstage chat from Jones added an extra special edge to the show at one point demanding the crowd to boo as loudly as possible quite simply because they hadn’t played London in five years… bit harsh on yourself guys?
Oslo might be one of Hackney’s hidden treasures, with it packed to the rafters with fans who’ve waited possibly five years for tonight the atmosphere was truly special. Danko Jones create good old rock music, but with a spoken word twist and no gimmicks, just sheer talent. The live performance skills housed cannot be taught but have simply been gained from almost twenty years worth of touring. It’s classic, exciting and a bloody great night out. Jones took the time to admit that throughout their set mistakes had been made (we hadn’t noticed) but as he said “Real rock and roll should be a 5-6/10 review at best, not a 10/10. We’ve never had higher than a 7/10″…
After what was undoubtedly one of the most solid, slick and fun live performances we’ve been lucky enough to experience there’s no way that tonight deserves less than an 8/10. We’ll definitely be heading down to another Danko Jones show soon and you should too!